Four activists with Greenpeace Denmark have swum from the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior across the Dan oil field in the Danish North Sea and are peacefully occupying the Dan Bravo oil rig to demand an immediate ban on all further oil and gas exploration in Denmark, followed by a complete phase out of domestic fossil fuel production and a massive expansion of clean offshore wind power.
“We are peacefully occupying the Dan Bravo oil rig today to tell leaders that unless they are brave enough to ban the search for new oil and gas in Denmark, they will never be the green frontrunners they claim to be,” said Ida Marie, who is 21 years old and one of the four activists taking part in the protest.
Denmark enjoys a global reputation as a green champion, even though its government remains a supporter of the country’s oil and gas industry and has already approved fossil fuel production beyond 2050 — the final deadline for Denmark to be at net-zero.
This hypocrisy is being increasingly called out as the government comes under growing pressure to ban new oil and gas exploration in its waters, a decision it has tried to dodge despite the negative impacts of fossil fuels on the planet and social justice.
The Greenpeace Denmark swimmers want the Danish Government to start putting action behind its many promises – made both nationally and internationally – to invest in a truly green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
”Banning new oil and gas exploration in the middle of the climate crisis as people around the world are battling floods and fires should be a no-brainer, but the Danish government doesn’t seem to get it. Because of my government’s lack of leadership and responsibility, I’m using the privilege of being able to exercise the right to peacefully protest to expose an old fossil fuel-driven world which is getting in the way of the green recovery we need right now,” Ida Marie added.
The Dan Bravo is the site where Denmark first began extracting oil in 1972. The Danish part of the North Sea now has 55 rigs, whose output makes Denmark the biggest oil producer and the 7th biggest gas producer in the European Union.
The Greenpeace activists swam to the oil rig because vessels must stay outside a 500 metre exclusion zone. They are carrying the necessary equipment and supplies to stay onboard for many days, and have the technology to allow them to communicate in real time with supporters around the world.
As precaution against Covid-19, the swimmers and team aboard the Rainbow Warrior have all tested negative and isolated for seven days at a location in Denmark prior to the action.
“The world can’t afford more fossil fuel extraction — the cost to people, nature and the climate is catastrophic. We urgently need green and just Covid-19 recovery plans that will create long-term benefits and cut future risks for all of us. Denmark has the chance to set a course towards a fairer and cleaner tomorrow, a destination it’s not going to find at the bottom of an oil well under a rusting platform in the North Sea,” said Ben Ayliffe, Senior Strategist at Greenpeace International.